‘Shooting the Filigreed Breeze’: Reconsidering Older Men’s Trust Relations in Digital Social Enterprise

  • Lisa McDonald


Understandings of trust extend beyond its status as tacit or implied, yet the presence or absence of trust in a given situation is difficult to resolve. In dialogue with recent perspectives in critical gerontology that address the experiences of gender and power in older age, this chapter discusses the intersection of trust with a peer support network for older men ‘at-risk-of-suicide’ in regional Queensland, Australia. In particular, it outlines the establishment of a collaborative research project between the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and The Older Men’s Network (TOMNET) to trial the delivery and facilitation of a digital peer support network. In providing details of both the operational and the social structures of TOMNET, the organisation’s ‘trust philosophy,’ a method of persuading confidence and hope in TOMNET members, is considered foundational to this digital venture. The affective interactions that this philosophy generates foster more than is immediately apparent, extending the notion of trust into what may be termed a ‘digital social enterprise’ to exemplify new-generation civic relations between universities and communities. Anticipating the innovations of this specific human–machine interface, such an enterprise is thought to be a critical nexus of intricately productive relations between gender, a sense of well-being, and experiences of later life in regional Australia.


Collaborative research Civic relations Digital social enterprise Older men Trust 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa McDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.Lisa McDonald & AssociatesAdelaideAustralia

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